We are now in the thick of the crazy holiday period where it is only too easy to over-indulge in the end of year parties that mark the holiday season. It can be a tricky time of year to stay healthy and to keep on-track with your health goals, but by following these 6 tips for a healthy Christmas tricks you can enjoy the holiday season while still having a happy and healthy Christmas.
1. Know your motivation
Before you embark on your Christmas festivities and welcome in the new year you need to be really clear on what is your motivation for staying healthy. To find your motivating factor, you need to do some inner inquiry.
Say for example your goal is to start the new year feeling fresh, you then need to ask yourself some questions to go deeper and to really uncover your true motivation behind reaching that goal. You need to ask yourself:
Why is that important to you?
What will starting 2016 feeling fresh do for you?
What will having (whatever you answered above) do for you?
And what will THAT do you for you?
Eventually you will get to an answer that you just know is your REAL, true reason for having a fresh start to the new year. Maybe you want to feel more confident at work, or perhaps you want to spice things up in the bedroom, or you will be a better mum/partner/friend. Whatever it is for you, this is the key!
2. Remind yourself of your motivation daily
Once you have your motivating factor really clear in your mind, write it down and keep it somewhere that you can see every day. This will help to anchor your desired state to your everyday actions and stop you from falling off the wagon. Treat your goal the same way you would an advent calendar.
You could write it on your computer screen saver, set it as a reminder a few times a day in your phone, on post-it notes in your day planner or by your dresser mirror, so that it remains front and centre of your mind.
3. Set yourself up for success
The next tip is to then make sure that you set yourself up for success. If you know that having your favourite very naughty Christmas snack in the cupboard is just going to make sabotaging your efforts inevitable, then give it away (or don’t buy it in the first place) and replace it with something that will bring you one step closer to your motivating factor rather than further away.
If you need to eat a healthy meal before going to a xmas party, then be sure to prepare that meal and follow through so you don’t end up snacking on the buffet or canapes. Enlist the help of your family too, so you will be more likely to do this.
Set yourself up for inevitable success by clearing potential blocks so that they don’t happen in the first place.
4. Make time for yourself
There is no bigger obstacle to your success than not having time to do the things you required to reach your goals. If you need time to go to the gym or your favourite yoga class then make that happen by adding it to your calendar like another important appointment to make sure it happens.
Schedule in “me-time” every day- even if it is just for 10 minutes, to give yourself the necessary space in your day to focus on yourself and your goals. This is especially important when things are hectic as they can be at this time of year.
Don’t get sucked into stress-eating by putting yourself into a situation where you are crazily trying to do everything before guests arrive or madly rushing around doing last minute shopping and preparations. Feeling stressed is never good for your wellbeing and can contribute to other unhealthy patterns such as comfort eating or binge drinking, behaviours that will not lead you on the path to success.
Start planning now and getting things done so everything isn’t happening at the last minute. This goes down to the food you will be making on Christmas day and knowing what ingredients you have to buy. Also try and keep things as simple as possible to avoid complications.
Healthy Christmas Party Foods
Here are some simple, delicious and healthy recipes you might like to try which is perfect for taking along to parties or having on-hand for guests you might be hosting:
1 cup (130 g) cashew nuts
1 cup dates,pitted
2 tablespoons cacao powder
1 pinch of salt
Mix all ingredients in a food processor. When mixture starts to ball up in a dough consistency, add a little water to facilitate the blending. Once it forms a whole ball, stop the machine. Shape in small truffles with your hands. Roll in cacao powder or in shredded coconut, to give them a beautiful festive look!
Mini Chocolate Bars
½ cup coconut oil, melted
½ cup maple or agave syrup (the latter is not as tasty
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup cacao powder
1 pinch Himalayan crystal salt
½ cup almonds, roughly ground
½ cup cacao nibs
Mix all liquid ingredients until smooth; in case the mixture thickens as it cools, melt again. Add cacao powder and salt; mix well. For a better result, taste and add either maple syrup or cacao to reach the desired flavour. Gently incorporate ground almonds and cacao nibs or any other ground nuts, dried fruit, or berries. Spread mixture in a dish, cover with film and place in the refrigerator to set. A few hours later, your chocolate is ready to be broken into pieces or cut into any desired shape. These chocolate bars must be kept in the refrigerator until eaten; otherwise they could soften too much because of their coconut oil content.
6. Be kind to yourself
Finally, if you find that you are starting to get off track when you go to your third party in a row, or if you can’t resist the temptations of the Christmas dinner table, then be kind to yourself out of respect for your body. Remind yourself of why you want to feel amazing and radiant and how good that will feel when you are. Trust that if you do indulge in something that isn’t in alignment with your goals, that it is only temporary know that you can get back on track again pretty quickly.
If you really want to stay healthy over the holidays, and need an extra boost of motivation to follow these tips for a healthy Christmas, then why not participate in our Christmas & New Year Bootcamp where myself and Richard will both be on-hand to ensure you keep to your health goals and stay on track for a healthy start to 2016.